Miles Properties, an Atlanta-based multifamily firm that once had nearly 10,000 units under ownership and management, filed bankruptcy in January.
The move comes on the heels of Miles' owner, Daniel J. Miles, filing bankruptcy in December, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Creditors initially filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation against Miles, but he has since turned Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The 20 largest creditors in the case have claims worth more than $18 million, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Ron Glass, whose financial advisory firm GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group is overseeing the liquidation, says the company has creditor approval to pay the bills and work to keep its units filled. Not all of the company’s properties (which stretch from Colorado to Texas and up the East Coasat, from Florida to Maryland) are in bankruptcy, but Glass said five properties in Atlanta were included along with one each in Dallas, Denver, and Tampa, Fla.
Miles traditionally looked to make a value-add play—buying old apartments and fixing them up for workforce renters. As those workers have gotten hit by the recession, the company's rates have crumbled—one property in the Atlanta area is only 48 percent occupied. Others hover at occupancies in the mid-80 percentiles. “The Miles properties are tracking their submarkets,” Glass says.
But, in the case of many apartment owners, the economy only tells part of the story. Miles either refinanced or acquired many of its properties in the past three years at 80 percent loan-to-value, leaving it upside down with assets that aren’t performing.
“I don’t think Miles was the first [to face these problems] and it won’t be the last,” Glass says.